"From house churches in Cuba to New Monastic communities in the United States to fresh expressions churches in Great Britain, congregations today are taking diverse forms. Amidst such change, bishops are called to interpret the need for both continuity and change and hold them in tension." - Bishop Ken Carter, Florida Annual (regional) Conference.
Colorado United Methodists won't let fear rule
DENVER (UMNS) - Through singing and preaching, praying and counseling - as well as sharing hugs and shedding tears - United Methodists in the Denver area responded to Friday's school shooting at Arapahoe High School.
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2013: Cleaning up after dangerous winds, floods
NEW YORK (UMNS) - A November typhoon left part of the Philippines in ruins, while in the United States, tornado-prone Oklahoma witnessed the nation's widest tornado on record and Colorado floodwaters cut off mountain towns for days. In all these disasters, United Methodists reached out to help.
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WCC asks 'Mandela moment' in South Sudan
GENEVA (UMNS) - The moderator of the World Council of Churches Central Committee has called on the government of South Sudan to have a "Mandela moment" as it confronts the aftermath of an attempted coup Dec. 17. "Just when we have laid Mandela to rest and we are celebrating his life of forgiveness and reconciliation, of justice, of freedom, of the capacity to be content and to be inclusive: this is really a lesson for South Sudan," said Agnes Abuom, a Kenyan.
Clergy urge release of Senate report on torture
WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Clergy across the country, such as the Rev. Frank Dorsey, a retired United Methodist pastor in Overland Park, Kan., are using newspaper opinion pages to urge the Senate Intelligence Committee to release to the public its 6,000-page report on the CIA's use of torture. The effort is organized by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
Read letter by the Rev. Frank Dorsey, Topeka Capital-Journal
See list of Op-eds
The challenge for bishops
LAKELAND, Fla. (UMNS) - Bishop Ken Carter, of the Florida Annual (regional) Conference, has written on the challenge of being a denominational bishop in a post-denominational culture. "As a bishop, I am called to value continuity and embrace change," he says in an essay for Faith and Leadership.
CBS special on religious efforts on trafficking now online
NEW YORK (UMNS) - "Well over 20 million" men, women and children are victims of various forms of trafficking and slavery, says the Rev. David Schilling, a United Methodist pastor and staff executive for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Advocacy for trafficking survivors by his organization and United Methodist Women is highlighted in "Living in the Shadows: Religion's Response to Human Trafficking," a CBS-TV interfaith special that can now be viewed online.
Bishop, UM schools oppose marriage amendment
INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) - Indiana Area Bishop Mike Coyner has outlined his reasons for opposing adding an amendment to the Indiana constitution that defines marriage. Among them is: "I do not want the State of Indiana or any other governmental unit to define the meaning of marriage for those of us who are Christians and United Methodists." United Methodist-related University of Evansville, DePauw University and, most recently, Robert Manuel, president of the University of Indianapolis, have released statements opposing the proposed amendment.
Read Coyner's E-pistle
Read University of Indianapolis' statement
Rethink Church releases new mobile app
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - United Methodist Communications invites you not only to Rethink Church but also to Rethink Christmas. A new free mobile app, designed to inspire you to let go of the hustle and bustle of the season to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas is now available free for Apple and Android devices. To download Rethink Christmas on your Apple device, go to the iTunes app store and search for Rethink Christmas. It also is available in the Google Play store for installation on Android.
Read news release
'Hark How All the Welkin Rings'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - Here's the story behind what may be Charles Wesley's most well-known hymn, a Christmas poem he first published in 1737. Welkin is an old word for the vault of heaven. The herald angels came later. Charles Wesley's birthday is Dec. 18. Dean McIntyre, director of music resources for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, has the story.
New book presents Charles Wesley letters
Saving Mr. Moore
HOUSTON (UMNS) - The Rev. C. Chappell Temple, senior pastor of Lakewood United Methodist Church, shares the story of the Old Testament professor who perhaps more than anyone gave Americans their concept of St. Nicholas and the very Christian message of grace Clement Clark Moore's most well-known work conveys.